Cold Creek Campground

Tahoe National Forest

Jackson Meadows Reservoir

Cold Creek Campground, Highway 89,  Tahoe National Forest

Cold Creek Campground

Jackson Meadows
Attractions and Activities

Jackson Meadows Reservoir north of Truckee is a popular camping and boating destination. Visitors to the area find a variety of activities and interesting places to explore.

  • Boating and fishing on Jackson Meadows Reservoir
  • Hike or horseback ride on the Pacific Crest Trail
  • Visit Independence Lake for hiking, bird watching and kayaking or motor boating with rentals from The Nature Conservancy (no outside boats).
  • Explore the history of Henness Pass crossed by emigrants during the Gold Rush - Oregon-California Trails Association - Henness Pass
  • Set out for a day of Birding in Sierra County. Spot ducks, geese, and teal at Jackson Meadows Reservoir; watch for bald eagles, visit Kyburz Marsh for everything from eagles to osprey.

Key Campground Regulations

  1. Bears: Food and similar items must be stored in bear-proof lockers.
  2. Water is in short supply during California's drought.
  3. Firewood: Purchase firewood locally to avoid bringing in pests.

Cold Creek Campground

Cold Creek Campground, beside Highway 89 in the Tahoe National Forest, is one of those little roadside camps that would be easy to overlook. This charming spot along musical Cold Creek is a nice place to spend a night. The nearby highway is lightly traveled and so road noise is not a big deterrent to the campground. Choose a campsite next to the meadow on the creek side of the access road.

Jeffrey pines and white fir spread shade over the 6 campsites at Cold Creek Campground. Growing along the creek are cottonwoods, willows, and aspens. Cottonwood Creek Botanical Trail and Overlook Trail both begin at Cottonwood Creek Campground ½ mile to the north. Jackson Meadows Reservoir is 19 miles away.

Four of the campsites are subject to non-specific reservations. The specific site will be assigned upon arrival. Three of those sites are adjacent to the highway and not as desirable as the sites left open for first-come, first served. According to the Forest Service, usage at the campground is light.

Campground Basics
Location: Along Highway 89, 4½ miles south of Sierraville, 25 miles north of Truckee
Elevation: 5,680 feet
Mileage and driving time from gateway city: Truckee - 25 miles, 29 minutes
Sacramento - 120 miles, 2:05
Number of Sites: 6
Open - Closed: May through October
Max. People per Site: 6 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 2 (fee for 2nd vehicle)
Pets: on leash, always attended
Sierraville Ranger District: (530) 994-3401

Reservations accepted Reservations can be made for 4 sites, but not for a specific site.
Remaining 2 sites are first-come, first served
Reservation Window: Reservations can be made from 4 days to 6 months in advance of arrival date.
Maximum RV/trailer Length: 22 feet
Accessible Sites: None designated
Fees: $16 per night
Reservations: Cold Creek Campground Reservations
Check-in, check-out: 2:00 PM, check-out Noon

Cold Creek Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, food locker, grill, fire ring; no hook-ups
Campground: Vault toilets, tap water
Showers: No
Dump station: No
Nearby attractions: Cottonwood Creek Botanical Trail and Overlook Trail, Sierra Hot Springs in Sierraville, Jackson Meadows Reservoir for boating, waterskiing, fishing, and swimming; Pacific Crest Trail, horseback riding trails, mountain biking, OHV routes

Cold Creek at Cold Creek Campground, Tahoe National Forest

Cold Creek

General Camping Information

Opening and closing dates of campgrounds are only estimates, usually dependent on snow conditions. Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the website when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite.

In order to prevent the spread of invasive insects, purchase firewood locally.

Accessible Sites

Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.

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